NAHCON tasks journalists on balanced reportage during hajj
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has urged journalists who have been selected to cover 2019 Hajj exercise to abide by the codes of conduct in the coverage of the Hajj exercise. Noting that the journalist’s responsibility during the exercise is to inform, educate and positively prepare pilgrims, many of who may be going to the holy land for the first time, for the challenges of the Hajj.
The Director General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria Dr. Mansur Liman during the inauguration of the national media team for 2019 hajj said to effectively carry out this onerous responsibility, the journalists must be educated about the pilgrimage. For it’s only with knowledge that one can effectively inform and educate.
“ Journalists must go out of their way to study the Hajj process so that at their fingertips they know what the entire process entails from beginning to the end. That is the only way they can properly carry out these responsibilities”.
He urged the National Hajj Commission to equip their officials with the latest information about their activities. For too long, crucial information is usually withheld from the intending pilgrims and the public at large.
“This does not in any way assist in the overall management of the hajj exercise. While journalists are admonished to ensure fact-based reportage, this can only happen if NAHCON is ready to carry the journalists as partners and also as confidants in all that they do”.
He urged journalists to fact check every information that comes through to them via the social media or other sources before reportage or broadcast .
“Critical issue that has gained currency in recent times is that of fake news and hate speech. Journalists covering the hajj must be on the look-out for fake news. Unscrupulous persons have impersonated government and other public officials through the use of fake Twitter handles and Face book pages. The Hajj exercise is of necessity an international event. Journalists must therefore understand that there are diplomatic niceties that should be observed in the reportage. Our main area of focus is to report the Nigerian Hajj to Nigerians and not to disrupt the otherwise cordial relations between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia”.
He commended the present NAHCON management for the great improvements in the conduct of pilgrimages in the country. “They deserve the support of all, most especially members of the fourth estate of the realm to take it to the next level.”
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